"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


There's a certain magnetic draw to a small town called Hartsville, South Carolina.

Life, circumstance, veritable needs often brings parents to relocate from homes where families were raised. Both of our parents have long since moved from the dwellings of our upbringing. There are times when I've wished I could take my children home and relive my childhood. There's no one there now. No family, few connections. And parents can't really be expected to hold down a fort for children to sporadically return for a "remember when" tour. They have their own dream to fulfill and such is life.

However, for me, one place remains constant. A place somewhat sacred, where life was lived fully. A place as good as home.

Grandparents have passed and our parents now hold in their hands this little piece of heritage. It's where we gathered. It's where we learned the meaning of family. Every inch of this farm holds a memory and a story.

Seven siblings producing sixty some odd grandchildren. It would seem impossible to build any strong relationships and yet, we grew up spending time together here and creating ties that bind.

Fireworks from Uncle Eli's Pharmacy in town, the big tree, the smell of tobacco barns, watching those barns burn to the ground. Hot dusty tractor rides, the warm taste of cantaloupe cut fresh from the vine, toads in the evening, gnats and bug zappers.

Sleeping shoulder to toe, biscuits in the morning, the open and close of the front screen door and complaints over air conditioning that just isn't free. Shopping cart races, pecans and soybean plants. Pogo sticks and funny boy cousins. Older cousins with spooky stories to tell and best friend cousins to run wild with. Irrigation ditches and teenage initiations. Every square inch a reflection of love.

Time has moved on but not much has physically changed here. It remains constant and I breath it all in.

Now, the house stands empty and all I can hear are the echos of raucous laughter and the endearing jibes of yesterday.

I hope my home resonates with such lingering love. I hope my little people will yearn to come home for a dose. I hope their lives are full and their memories plentiful. Theirs is a heritage built on family and I'll be forever grateful for a man and woman who bought themselves a farm and created a home.


  1. Marlowe--Beautiful pictures!!

  2. OH my heck! I can smell the dirt when I look at these pictures~

  3. All that was missing was you all! Tearing down the driveway with my kids on the gurney ... fun and yet a little lacking without a yard full of folks.

  4. Thank you for bringing the farm to me this morning. I don't know if we ever expect, as children, to place such profound importance on our heritage as adults. These are truly the things that shaped us and made us who we are today.

  5. Wow! Reading that and looking at those photos, made me think of a nostalgic scene from an old movie, and to think it is real! That is wonderful, and I can't help but feel slightly envious of your experiences. I often dream of living in the slower paced life of yester-years...but here we are 2010!

    I would love to add your blog to our Best of The Blogs list at Power of Moms. Thanks for dropping by.

  6. P.S. Could you email me at tiffany@powerofmoms.com to get a little info/background from you? Thanks! Have a good day.

  7. BEAUTIFUL!! You've made me homesick for a place I've never been!

  8. PS--Marlowe, I thought no one ever took more pictures of the farm than I did--but you've got some shots and angles I missed, and I love them!